The Road To Civil War
Eight years in the making, ever since that first post credits scene with Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the end of IRON MAN (2008), all roads over the past twelve Marvel Studios movies and five Marvel TV series have been leading towards the big ideological battle posed in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.
Freedom vs Security.
The Right to Freedom vs The Right to Security
In this post 9/11 world, is it better to have the freedom of choice in acting towards threats on a case by case basis or is it more important to keep everybody secure under a rigid guideline in order to maintain overall peace and prosperity?
Those two differing views sets both Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America and Iron Man a.k.a. Tony Stark apart on opposing ends of the argument – threatening to split the Avengers right down the middle as battle lines are drawn and super powered supporters back their favored champion to advocate their views on the matter at hand.
The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions
After successive superhuman-based attacks against a defenseless human population over the past 4 years from unsanctioned Avengers activity, the world is on the brink of a global crisis. From the Battle of New York (Avengers) to the Sacking of London (Thor: Dark World); to the Downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Captain America: Winter Soldier), the South African Massacre (Avengers 2) and the Destruction of Sokovia (Avengers 2) – it seems that the Avengers brings more harm to the world than it does good.
When an overseas Avengers mission at the beginning of the movie goes decidedly awry, special United Nations task force headed by the US Secretary of State, General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross (from 2008’s THE INCREDIBLE HULK) comes down hard on the team – forcing them to sign The Sokovia Accords which aims to register and regulate superhuman activity; or risk being branded rogue vigilantes worthy of global persecution.
Thanks to working on Captain America since its inception, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are dab hands at setting the tone perfectly in this movie – showing much growth and maturity in handling the First Avenger and his role within the larger world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Gone are the fuddy duddy man out of time scenes from the first two movies. Here Steve Rogers is a shining paragon of freedom, a seasoned leader in the battlefield and a champion for what he believes to be right. Markus and McFeely’s lean script also ensured that the heavy ideological clashes never felt too bogged down with talky talky scenes, paper thin character motivations or senseless macho posturing. *cough* BvS *cough*
Sibling filmmakers, Joe and Anthony Russo which deftly directed CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER into an epic superhero political thriller are also back at the helm – graduating to new heights of action film-making on this outing. Showcasing an almost BOURNE-like brutality in the action scenes for the overseas Avengers mission, the Russo brothers trumps that with the showcase Civil War battle at Leipzig Airport, Germany.
I daresay that it is THE best fight scene yet of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since the epic Battle of New York in Joss Whedon’s AVENGERS (2012)! The amount of creativity that the Russo Brothers imbued within every beat of that fight gave all 12 Avengers their own time in the limelight, while keeping the pace of the action moving forward.
Avengers: New Class – Ant Man, Spider-Man and Black Panther
Without going into much spoiler territory, I’ve got to say that the new class of Avengers recruits are the best thing about this movie. From Ant Man to Spider-Man to Black Panther, each character gets their own show stealing scenes which instills this latest Marvel adventure with a certain amount of freshness.
Paul Rudd as wide eyed, fanboy gushing Ant Man is a wisecracking revelation – offering an every man angle to Marvel’s myth-making. Holland’s boyish naivete and Boseman’s regal tone sets a nice counter to the bickering elder Avengers which we have lovingly followed for the past 8 years.
Based on the awesome energy that both Tom Holland as Spider-Man and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther brought to the screen, I daresay that both SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING (2017) and BLACK PANTHER (2018) which will explore each character’s origin stories and motivations are going to a joy to behold once it hits cinemas.
Avengers: New Class – The Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
In my opinion, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR raises the bar for all modern superhero team up movies from this moment onward – a high note upon which all future superhero team up movies will be set against.
Effectively an Avengers 2.5 of sorts, it’s definitely way better than the bloated franchise-building AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015), although it still pales in comparison to ensemble director savant Joss Whedon’s cinematic genius in AVENGERS (2012) – coming in a close second.
It perfectly sets up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, offering an EMPIRE STRIKES BACK-esque cliffhanger ending which gives breathing room for disparate new Marvel properties to bloom – before they will all have to come together to face the multiverse-spanning threat of Thanos in the two-parter AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR come May 2018 and May 2019.
Until then, Make Mine Marvel!